Q. I mailed a religious exemption letter to my county school board, and the superintendent responded by sending me a religious exemption form to fill out.  Must I provide both a letter and a form?

A. The law does NOT require a parent to complete a religious exemption form. Forms often ask for more information that the law requires. The school board’s responsibility is to determine if your beliefs are genuine or sincere and not “political, sociological, or philosophical views or merely a personal moral code.”

A religious exemption letter to the school board should include enough information to show that you are opposed to attendance at school because of your sincere religious belief and your strong conviction to train or teach your child according to your religious belief.

You may respectfully ask the superintendent’s office to submit your letter to the school board since the letter is addressed directly to the board. It is the school board that must excuse the pupil from Virginia’s compulsory attendance laws, not the superintendent.

Please contact the HEAV office at 804-278-9200 if you would like to discuss religious exemption further.

With regards,